Apartment Hunting Tips for Seniors

June 4, 2024

Apartment hunting tips for seniors in London, Ontario from Summit Properties.

Many of us have dreams of retiring in the home we’ve owned for decades. However, many seniors find that their large family homes feel empty and lonely and are difficult to maintain as they age. If you’re a senior struggling to keep up with your home, renting an apartment may be the right option for you. Bonus: invest your equity into the retirement lifestyle you enjoy!

Consider Your Apartment Budget

A senior creating an apartment budget.

Renting as a senior is a great way to keep your costs low, especially since you’ll no longer be responsible for maintenance costs, property taxes, and upkeep.

Have a look at your finances and consider expenses like rent and utilities. Many apartment rentals include essential utilities such as water, electricity, gas, and sometimes even internet or cable services in the rental cost. The inclusion of utilities can further ease financial stress.

You may also want to think about additional costs such as transportation to and from your apartment as well as moving expenses. Moving costs, such as hiring movers, purchasing packing supplies, and potentially paying deposits or fees, can quickly add up. By including these expenses in your budgeting process, you can ensure a smoother transition to your new home without encountering unexpected financial burdens.

Research to Find the Best Apartment

Seniors researching to find the best apartment in London, Ontario.

Look online to find listings in your desired area, research local property management companies, and read online reviews from current or former tenants to learn more about their renting experience.

Beyond online resources, there are many other ways to find apartments in London. For example, reading local newspapers like the London Free Press can assist you in locating available rental apartments. Additionally, you may find apartment listings on bulletin boards at community centers throughout the City of London or the London Public Library.

Find the Right Neighbourhood

535 Proudfoot Place in London, Ontario.

As a senior, you’ll value having a neighbourhood with amenities and services you need. Consider everywhere you go on a regular basis—such as grocery stores, convenience stores, pharmacies, doctor’s offices, hospitals, parks, senior centres and libraries—and search for neighbourhoods based on how easily you can get there by car, walking or public transit.

Additionally, having access to walking trails can not only provide a scenic and enjoyable way to stay active but also promote social interaction and a sense of community. Whether you prefer a leisurely stroll or a brisk walk, living nearby walking trails can greatly enhance your quality of life.

To discover the ideal neighborhood for your needs, read our London, Ontario Neighbourhood Comparison blog.

Ensure the Building Has Accessibility Features

Accessible apartment building in London, Ontario.

Accessibility is important, especially as we age. Make life easier for yourself by selecting an apartment that’s on one level, with no stairs to contend with. A building with an elevator is a must.

Grab bars in the bathroom, anti-slip showers, in-closet and under-cabinet lighting, lever door handles, and appliances with bright, easy-to-read controls are all great accessibility features to look for.

Choose an Apartment with Senior-Friendly Amenities

Seniors socializing in the apartment common area.

Senior-friendly amenities like modern finishes, efficient and reliable appliances, and easy-to-clean surfaces are key. You’ll also appreciate common areas where you can socialize and exercise, such as a gym, swimming pool, or café.

Certain apartment buildings have a higher population of seniors because they are age-restricted rental properties. These properties are worth considering for the additional amenities and sense of community they offer. By living in these communities, seniors can enjoy a vibrant and fulfilling lifestyle while also having access to the care and assistance they may require as they age. Prospective tenants can check with the leasing agent or property manager to find what apartment buildings would be the best fit!

Assess the Safety & Security of the Building

565 Proudfoot Place’s secure apartment entrance.

When assessing the safety of the apartment building, consider whether the building manager lives on-site. The presence of on-site building managers enhances the overall safety and security of the property by ensuring that there is always someone nearby who can respond swiftly and effectively to any security issues that may arise.

Ensure that your building has security features, such as controlled entry, security cameras, and deadbolt locks on each unit’s door. For added peace of mind, find a building with good lighting in parking lots, building entryways and lobby, or even an onsite security guard.

Interview Current Building Residents

Seniors interviewing other apartment building residents.

Interview current residents so that you can learn about their rental experience. Inquire about the quality of the building and amenities, the ease of requesting maintenance, and the responsiveness of management.

Evaluate the Legal Implications of the Lease

Seniors evaluating the legal implications of an apartment lease.

Under the Ontario Human Rights Code, you have the right to be free from age discrimination in housing. Landlords can’t charge you more based on your age, and your lease should be similar to that of other tenants.

Examine the Property Manager’s Attention to Detail

Seniors working with a property manager to find an apartment in London, Ontario.

Does your property or building manager ensure that the building is well-maintained? Do the building managers live on-site? Do they respond to problems quickly and effectively? Is it easy to contact them with your concerns? Is there a system in place to handle maintenance requests for your unit?

A good property manager has established protocols and procedures for how to handle the most common requests and concerns that residents have.

Discover Senior-Friendly Apartments with Summit Properties

At Summit Properties, we’ve been London’s most dedicated property managers for decades, and we thrive in part due to our fantastic senior residents. If you’re a senior on the hunt for an apartment that meets your needs, give us a call or email today! Our supportive, friendly staff would be happy to help you find the perfect apartment for you.